Making your home somewhere you want to spend time in is vital to your mental and physical health. Rest as you know, is equally as important as being active! One way to make your home happy and healthier is by adding house plants throughout. Having luscious greenery inside your home adds colour, atmosphere and a sense of aliveness. It has also been proven by NASA scientists, who while researching ways to create suitable space station habitats, discovered that some plants are especially efficient at removing volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from the air. These compounds are found in emissions from paint, plastics, carpet, cleaning solutions, and numerous building materials. They can leak into the air we breath, making our home not such a healthy place.
Three major chemical offenders found in the home or office include:
- formaldehyde: in carpets, upholstery, glues, paint, and more.
- Benzene: in plastics, synthetic fibres, lubricants, rubber, pesticides, and more.
- Trichloroethylene: in paint removers, rug cleaning solution, adhesives, and more.
Deterioration in air quality can result in a condition known as ‘multiple chemical sensitivity’ leading to a host of respiratory and allergic reactions now called coined ‘sick building syndrome’. This unfortunately is becoming an increasingly common phenomenon found in large office buildings with poor ventilation.
One way we can counter-act these chemical offenders is to add more house plants to our homes. Remember ‘breath is life’ and plants are the lungs of the earth. They take in carbon dioxide in the day and release oxygen during the night, also known as photosynthesis as you’ll remember from biology class at school ;-). Oxygen is the most vital nutrient in our bodies. It is essential for efficient functioning of your brain, nerves, glands and other internal organs. If your brain does not get proper supply of oxygen it can cause degradation of all the vital organs of the body. Effects to your brain itself may result is mental sluggishness, negative thoughts, depression and over time vision and hearing declines.
So with this in mind, open the windows, bring sustainable, ecological products and materials into your home and why not make your living/work space more beautiful with house plants? Create an indoor mini rainforest biosphere using funky pots, rustic hanging baskets, simple glass terrariums and green walls. Visit your local garden centre/plant nursery and stock up with these relatively easy to care for house plants!
10 house plants to filter toxins from your home:
- Areca Palm (Chrysalidocarpus lutescens) – semi-sun
- Aloe Vera (Aloe barbadensis) – semi-sun
- Bamboo Palm (Chamaedorea seifrizii) – semi-sun
- Rubber Plant (Ficus robusta) – semi-sun to semi-shade
- Dracaena ‘Janet Craig’ (Dracaena deremensis) – semi-shade
- Philodendron (Philodendron sp) – semi-shade
- English Ivy (Hedera helix) – semi-shade
- Jade plant (Crassula ovata) – semi-sun
- Boston Fern (Nephrolepis exaltata ‘Bostoniensis) – semi-sun
- Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum “Mauna Loa”) – semi-shade
There are many more beneficial house plants that you could incorporate into your home. For more detailed information see noted scientist Dr. B.C. Wolverton’s book ‘How to Grow Fresh Air: 50 House Plants that Purify Your Home or Office‘ Paperback – April 1, 1997 .
“Breath is the bridge which connects life to consciousness, which unites your body to your thoughts. Whenever your mind becomes scattered, use your breath as the means to take hold of your mind again.”
―Thich Nhat Hanh,The Miracle of Mindfulness: An Introduction to the Practice of Meditation
This article was written by Roxana Prince, Horticultural Consultant at Mr Bamboo, Sydney